A direct comparison of short-term audiomotor and visuomotor memory

Amanda M. Ward, Torrey M. Loucks, Edward Ofori, Jacob J. Sosnoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Audiomotor and visuomotor short-term memory are required for an important variety of skilled movements but have not been compared in a direct manner previously. Audiomotor memory capacity might be greater to accommodate auditory goals that are less directly related to movement outcome than for visually guided tasks. Subjects produced continuous isometric force with the right index finger under auditory and visual feedback. During the first 10 s of each trial, subjects received continuous auditory or visual feedback. For the following 15 s, feedback was removed but the force had to be maintained accurately. An internal effort condition was included to test memory capacity in the same manner but without external feedback. Similar decay times of ∼5-6 s were found for vision and audition but the decay time for internal effort was ∼4 s. External feedback thus provides an advantage in maintaining a force level after feedback removal, but may not exclude some contribution from a sense of effort. Short-term memory capacity appears longer than certain previous reports but there may not be strong distinctions in capacity across different sensory modalities, at least for isometric force.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-145
Number of pages19
JournalMotor Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Isometric force
  • Short-term motor memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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